Introducing George Alexander, LIGS Ambassador
George Alexander is currently a doctoral student at LIGS University with a major in finance, but he also agreed to become our LIGS Ambassador. We bring you a brand new interview with George!
Hello George, could you please tell us something about yourself? Can you briefly describe your career path?
I’ve had varied interests and a varied career path. I started out as an accountant working for a CPA firm doing auditing and taxes. But I eventually became a controller for several development companies. This led me into management positions in the real estate development and construction industry and I ultimately became a real estate investment advisor working for a national company. Afterwards I formed a development company and completed a number of projects on my own.
Why did you choose to pursue your career in such areas?
I lived in South Florida at the time so the better positions that allowed for personal growth and career development were in that industry. There was simply more opportunity in that industry and I also liked creating things.
At LIGS University, you are currently studying a PhD in Finance. What made you choose that?
I wanted a more sophisticated understanding of finance and capital markets, so I chose finance and venture capital as my specialization in the doctoral program. Various forms of investments including equites and bonds are of interest to me. It’s a way of expanding my knowledge that will be applicable in many areas in the future.
What courses have you liked the most so far? What courses are the most difficult ones?
I have a passion for the work, including research and learning so the qualitative aspects of research and writing are the easiest for me. The quantitative study including the formulas, theories and statistical modeling have proven to be the most challenging for me so far. But I have no doubt a tenacious spirit will allow me to be successful in all the courses. The doctoral level is about research and producing original work. Consequently, this requires a lot of time and hard work. But this is what I enjoy the most.
Why did you chose to study at LIGS University? What do you think about online form of education?
LIGS offered everything I required in a doctoral program. The fact that it was self-paced and affordable were the most significant factors and what attracted me to LIGS. Being self-paced allows for a much greater flexibility in one’s life style. Since the program is structured in this way, I can progress with my studies but also have time for other career responsibilities and family. For me it’s all about the balance. As far as online education is concerned, this is something I had to get used to. I was resistant at first and thought higher education could only be accomplished face-to-face and “on the ground” in a classroom. This is not the case. In the digital age, higher education has a new model and online is the way of the future that is here now.
Is online education getting more popular in the USA, or is it still a minor thing?
It seems online education is certainly getting more popular in the US. Every major university now has an online component [courses] to its curriculum. Whether a 100% online degree will be offered by all universities is yet to be determined. But I believe it will ultimately happen. It just makes more sense on many levels.
What are the biggest achievements in your career?
I think just continuing to expand my knowledge and having created and sold several successful businesses. Entrepreneurship seems to be ingrained in me. Surely, the future will hold more of the same.
What is the most important project/task you are facing right now?
I’m sort of a Jack of all trades, but the biggest challenge of course is getting through the PhD program and balancing this with work and recreational activities (I’m a scuba diver, fitness and martial arts enthusiast). But I am currently trying to expand some online capabilities of a production company.
What do education and personal development mean to you? Why is further education so important to you?
It was Sir Francis Bacon who said, “Scientia potentia est,” knowledge is power. Whether that is personal power in terms of self-satisfaction or self-actualization as Maslow would say or power in the workplace, education and continuous learning is certainly a way of enhancing one’s personal development. I find great satisfaction in this.
Indeed, challenging oneself through education is a form of vertical development and this concept suggests people keep growing through “predictable stages of mental development.” As proof, one certainly looks at the world differently when they are 20 years old as opposed to when they are 40 years old. Someone once said, “You can’t be a connoisseur of anything until you are at least 40!” (Art/Wine/Opera). Moreover, we can interpret the world in more complex ways after “iterations” of sequential and subsequent stages of development. Basically, one’s mind grows bigger and stronger. One could call vertical development neuroplasticity or exercise for the brain. Once challenged your brain grows stronger and capable of solving more complex problems. To me, this is the value of further education. But I digress...
Anything else you’d like to share with us?
One of my career goals in the furure is to be able to teach some of the business courses at a local university or at an online university. Therefore, the coursework is valuable for me. Additionally, I like being able to take all the courses from my home. This saves time and even if travelling I can get online in airports and on planes or at distant locations in order to complete my work. The webinars offered by LIGS have been informative and enjoyable as well. I also have an interest in artificial intelligence and population studies. But these will have to wait.
I hope to see online learning become more popular and more widespread. In an altruistic sense, bringing higher education to a greater number of people around the world expands economic opportunity and promotes democratic and free societies. This in turn raises the standard of living for people globally as well as in developing countries.
Read more about George HERE.